Facebook Video Lawsuit
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What the Facebook Video Lawsuit Means for Your Marketing Efforts

There are only two ways to guarantee that you stay up to date on the most important content marketing news. One: spend all day every day reading about the week’s news and announcements. Or two: check out our weekly Content Radar for a quick hit of what you need to know to stay on top of your game.

Read the five big items on the #ContentRadar this week. Cut through the noise for #contentmarketing #freelancing #digitalmarketing Click To Tweet

Content Radar What the Facebook video lawsuit means for your marketing efforts

Two years ago, Facebook’s video ad metrics were off (perhaps way off). Now, two full years later, more information about the class-action lawsuit that has been filed has been released, causing marketers everywhere to question their Facebook video ad spend tactics and wonder how accurate the associated data has been (and is now).

If you haven’t yet heard about the lawsuit, this is what you need to know:

What happened?

A Wall Street Journal article in 2016 reported that Facebook had not been accurately reporting the amount of time users on the social platform were watching paid video ads. While this initial reporting error may not be news any more, the report has popped back into the limelight this week as new information has been released.

Facebook Video Lawsuit

The group of marketers who first filed the class-action lawsuit in 2016 released new allegations this week that Facebook knew of the problem in reporting for much longer than the month it admitted to knowing about it in 2016. The plaintiffs allege that Facebook knew about the miscalculations as far back as July 2015.

How much were the ad views inflated?

This is murky territory. The first Wall Street Journal report in 2016 stated that Facebook had overestimated the amount of time viewers watched the video ads by 60-80 percent. However, the plaintiffs are now alleging that some of the video ad estimates were between 150 and 900 percent higher than what was accurate.

So, what does this mean for you?

This news could affect you in a few different ways. First of all, if the misreporting of Facebook video ad numbers was as widespread and as inaccurate as is being alleged, it is possible that you might have decided to run video ads on Facebook with incomplete information.

Facebook Video Lawsuit

Secondly, some question whether this inaccurate reporting of video views may have had an overall impact on the social media industry and on the kind of content companies created in an effort to have their material visible on the channel. Some believe it is possible that the whole industry may have shifted in an unnatural way thanks to the fact that the video data was not accurate.

What’s the fallout?

Time will tell, but some brands are already shifting their Facebook video strategy. In an email to subscribers last week, founder of Social Media Examiner, Mike Stelzner, told email recipients that the company would cease publishing three weekly shows on Facebook.

“All of our analysis showed that people are NOT watching video on Facebook. Especially if it’s longer than about a minute or two,” Stelzner wrote in the email. “Publishing Facebook content that people don’t watch or engage with is bad for our page. It sends the wrong signals to the algorithm. It’s not a smart strategy.”

More on the #ContentRadar

Content Radar The Social Smart Summit in Austin, Texas may be your last chance to attend a top-notch conference this year. The conference (scheduled for Nov. 5-7) is offering a significant discount for groups of three or more.

Content Radar You are probably annoying your customers with too many emails, according to a recent Adobe survey. A full 45 percent of respondents claimed that the most annoying thing email marketers do is send too many emails. The second most annoying thing? Emails that are too wordy or poorly written.

Content Radar YouTube changes its reporting on what constitutes an ad engagement. An engagement on YouTube’s “TrueView for action” ads will now be when a user either clicks or watches for 10 seconds or more. The prior measure for an engagement was 30 seconds.

Content Radar Twitter is adjusting how it displays tweets that are in violation of the platform’s rules. Starting soon, when Twitter deletes a tweet, a notice will appear in place of that tweet that says “This tweet is no longer available because it violated the Twitter rules” for 14 days.

Chad Buleen

About Chad

Chad Buleen is an award-winning journalist, the manager of social messaging for a large international nonprofit, a digital media enthusiast and father of four. Follow him on Twitter .

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